Hiring Green Graduates

May is a time of year where we shed off the drab winter blues and look forward to the warmth of springtime.  May is also a time for college graduation and students hoping to start a career in their primary field of study.  It is estimated by The National Center for Education Statistics that roughly 2.8 million students will graduate with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2019.  For employers this is an untapped market of bright, new talent; however, most of these individuals will not have enough on-the-job experience to qualify for jobs in their field of study. That begs the question, how do you as a small business, tap into this talent pool knowing that these graduates may not have internships or relevant job experience?

Here are a few tips to navigate the waters of the Green Graduate:

  • Create an internship or externship program.
    Provide opportunities where students and graduates can obtain on-the-job (OJT) training in their degree program. By creating these types of programs, individuals can get their foot in the door and showcase their talent, while you have the opportunity to evaluate the individual on their merits. When setting up an internship or externship, be sure that it is legally compliant with Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines.
  • Determine if certain job requirements can be reduced or if coursework and projects can be considered as experience.
    Some job postings are identified as entry-level positions only to require that the individual must have some experience.  Try to be loose in what you identify as years of experience. In some cases, especially in the IT arena, there are bright and rising stars in the field who have completed numerous courses and projects that could potentially be counted towards meeting the experience requirement.
  • Be thorough in your interviewing.
    Successfully interviewing candidates is the key to any good hiring practice. Be especially thorough with green graduates, as  you are taking a chance with someone who might not have enough experience or track record in doing the job.  Get to know the candidate and learn what their career ambitions might be, as well as their overall maturity level.  By gauging their ambition and maturity level, you’ll be able to assess if the candidate is ready to make the jump from college grad to being part of the professional workforce.
  • Once hired, provide training.
    Regardless of where you are in your career, it is necessary to consistently attend training and development programs simply because technology or best practices are changing at a rapid pace. This is especially important for the green graduate. Providing OJT will allow the employee to acclimate to the industry and provide opportunities to network with other professionals. Additionally, OJT will also help you as an employer, guide the green graduate to success in a demanding career.

BOOST knows GovCon HR and recruiting and how to incorporate new graduates into your staff We function as a boutique recruiting firm, with customized, targeted recruiting efforts for your billable positions, C-suite or corporate positions. We also help companies build a culture where employees want to work. If you need HR or recruiting guidance email [email protected]

Recruiting During Proposal Season

Editor’s Note: This Article Has Been Updated May 10, 2023

Soon proposal season will be upon us…along with writer’s block, visions of past performances dancing in your head, cost volumes, long nights and lots of coffee. But, the most enjoyable of all is resumes, sourcing, contingent offer letters and recruiting.

Government contracting recruiting is not like commercial recruiting.  The talent pool is small, the salaries are low, the lists of qualifications are long and the skill sets are specific. Proposal recruiting is its own version of fun with key personnel, vague requirements and candidates who get cranky when they hear you are recruiting for a proposal.

Whether recruiting for a proposal or a funded job req, the usual question is whether you recruit with in-house recruiters or if you utilize an outsourced recruiting firm (or individual recruiting consultant). There are several pros/cons to consider when outsourcing:

Pros of Outsourced Recruiting

  • You can use recruiting support only when needed, which can keep costs down
  • Recruiting firms offer the benefit of an expanded network
  • The resources of a qualified recruiter result in finding candidates faster, also important in proposal recruiting
  • Recruiting firms can keep the client confidential in postings, which is especially beneficial in the intelligence community or when recruiting for proposals

Cons of Outsourced Recruiting

  • For proposal recruiting, you are expending costs that you may not recover
  • You still need to add the cost into the indirect rates
  • Outsourcing can add additional time to the process (i.e., bringing a recruiter up to speed, learning your culture, etc.)
  • Better upsell of your company when you directly deliver the message

There is no right/wrong answer when it comes to determining how you will conduct your recruiting.  Both insourced and outsourced offer benefits and advantages.  Outsourcing costs more, but allows you to focus more efforts on different areas (proposal writing, business development, etc.).  If you have the staff available, insourcing can save costs and give you more control over the recruiting process.

BOOST and Apertus Partners are conducting a workshop through the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce GovCon Initiative on May 31st at 8:30 on Recruiting in the Intelligence Community.  Come join the discussion on recruiting challenges, case studies of successful internal recruiting from a local GovCon, the price of recruiting and recruiting diverse candidates in the Intel space. Ross O’Rourke from IC-1 Solutions will present on his company’s experience with internal recruiting in the intelligence community and Dat Nguyen, a BOOST recruiter, will speak on his experience with diversity recruiting in the intel space.

Register here.


Stephanie Alexander has been serving GovCons since 2002. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Stephanie has a wealth of knowledge and expertise when it comes to navigating the complex world of government contracting.

Prior to starting BOOST LLC, Stephanie worked for a number of large and small government contracting firms, where she gained valuable experience in all aspects of the business, from bidding on contracts to managing employees and subcontractors. It was during this time that she identified a need for a company that could provide government contractors with the support and guidance they need to succeed in a highly competitive market, specifically in the realm of managed GovCon accounting.